13 Celebrities Who Were Scammed Out of Their Fortune to Fraudsters

In the glitzy realm of fame and fortune, even celebrities are not immune to the clever schemes concocted by con artists. This article sheds light on the unfortunate tales of 13 stars who were swindled.

Sylvester Stallone

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Photo Credit: Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock.

You would think twice before attempting to scam the man responsible for creating and starring in iconic franchises like “Rocky” and “Rambo,” but Kenneth Starr, a celebrity financial advisor, shamelessly disregarded that notion. Starr was arrested in 2010 after being caught stealing millions from his clients, including Stallone.

Evidently, he squandered these ill-gotten gains to live luxuriously in Manhattan. Despite serving a seven-year sentence, Starr was released in 2016.

Kevin Bacon

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Even Kevin Bacon and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, were not exempt from the notorious scams orchestrated by Bernie Madoff. In 2009, the couple fell victim to Madoff’s high-profile fraud, although they didn’t suffer losses as substantial as some of Madoff’s other victims.

Jack Nicholson

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Photo Credit: 360b/Shutterstock.

During the 1990s, Jack Nicholson, along with numerous others, was duped by Todd Michael Volpe in an elaborate art-dealing sham that caused losses nearing $2 million. Nicholson himself bore the brunt of this scam, losing at least $600,000, as chronicled in the book that Volpe contributed to after serving his time in jail.

Anne Hathaway

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Photo Credit: lev radin/Shutterstock.

Anne Hathaway found herself entangled with Raffaello Follieri, a con artist who managed to swindle over $2 million from several actors, including Hathaway. Follieri masqueraded as a property investor, but when his deceit was exposed, he pleaded guilty and was subsequently deported back to Italy.

Ben Stiller

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Ben Stiller, the multi-talented comedian, actor, filmmaker, writer, and director, is an individual who commands admiration for his diverse accomplishments. However, his widespread fame and success also made him an appealing target for scammers. Regrettably, Stiller fell victim to a financial advisor named Dana Giachetto, who cunningly managed to pilfer over $200,000 from the actor. Fortunately, justice prevailed, and Giachetto was apprehended and prosecuted for his wrongdoing.

Robert De Niro

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Photo Credit: Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock.

One might assume that an intimidating presence like Robert De Niro would be immune to the schemes of con artists, given his reputation for portraying tough-guy roles. However, De Niro himself fell prey to Lawrence Salander’s scams in the early 2000s. Salander amassed his fortune by selling art but callously refused to pay the De Niro estate for over 45 artworks belonging to Robert De Niro’s recently deceased father. As a result, De Niro suffered a loss of approximately $1 million.

Elton John

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Photo Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.

In 2001, Elton John, the celebrated superstar and beloved songwriter of “The Lion King,” endured a drawn-out legal battle against his former accounting firm. John filed a $25 million lawsuit, alleging that the firm had overcharged him and mismanaged his funds. Unfortunately, if John’s claims were accurate, the accounting firm managed to evade consequences despite their alleged misconduct.

Dane Cook

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Dane Cook’s own family became the culprits of his misfortune. His half-brother, Darryl McCauley, was entrusted with the position of Cook’s business manager during the 1990s. However, McCauley, along with his wife, Erika, embezzled over $10 million from Cook.

Billy Joel

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The renowned “Piano Man” himself, Billy Joel, fell victim to his own manager, Frank Weber. Weber, who also happened to be Joel’s brother-in-law and the godfather of his child, deceived Joel through criminal investments and deceitful practices. Not only was Weber fired and prosecuted, but Joel’s family also severed ties with him.

Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier - Denis Makarenko _ Shutterstock.com
Photo Credit: Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock.

Sidney Poitier, the acclaimed actor, fell prey to one of the most notorious scam artists of the 1980s, Charles Agee Atkins. Atkins masterminded a fictitious tax shelter that duped countless individuals into investing billions under the guise of fake losses.

Sting

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Photo Credit: Jaguar PS/Shutterstock.

Sting, the acclaimed pop star of the 1990s, discovered that even his own manager was willing to exploit his financial success. In 1996, Sting’s manager embezzled around $5 million from him after a 15-year partnership. The manager invested the funds in shady business deals and attempted to extricate himself from personal debts before ultimately being caught.

John Malkovich

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Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.

John Malkovich suffered a loss of more than $2 million due to Bernie Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme. Malkovich was not the only celebrity ensnared by Madoff’s web of deception. Notable personalities such as Steven Spielberg, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Kevin Bacon and his wife also fell victim to Madoff’s fraudulent activities.

Kiefer Sutherland

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Photo Credit: eatureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.

Kiefer Sutherland became a victim of a cattle scam orchestrated by a con artist named Michael Wayne Carr, resulting in losses exceeding $800,000.

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